10 evidence-based health benefits of oregano

10 Evidence-based health benefits of oregano

What is Oregano

The herb oregano is native to the Mediterranean region. It has a strong, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet flavor and is often used in Italian and Greek cuisine. Oregano is a popular ingredient in tomato-based dishes, such as pizza and pasta sauce, and is also used to flavor meats, fish, and vegetables.

In addition to its use in cooking, oregano has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It is believed to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties and is sometimes used to treat respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and skin conditions.

There are several different types of oregano, including Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum), Italian oregano (Origanum x majoricum), and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens). Greek oregano and Italian oregano are closely related and have a similar flavor, while Mexican oregano has a more pungent, slightly citrusy flavor.

Oregano is available fresh or dried and can be used in a variety of dishes. It pairs well with other herbs such as basil, thyme, and rosemary. It is a key ingredient in many blends of dried herbs, such as Italian seasoning and Herbes de Provence.

Nutritional facts

The nutritional content of oregano varies depending on the form it is consumed in and the specific product you are using. Here are some general nutritional facts for oregano: it is

  • low in calories and fat and is a good source of fiber.
  • an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A, iron, and manganese.
  • a rich source of antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid, quercetin, and naringenin.
  • One tablespoon (6 grams) of fresh oregano contains about:
    • Calories: 3
    • Protein: 0.2 grams
    • Fat: 0.1 grams
    • Carbohydrates: 0.5 grams
    • Fiber: 0.2 grams
    • Vitamin K: 38% of the daily value (DV)
    • Vitamin A: 3% of the DV
    • Iron: 3% of the DV
    • Manganese: 4% of the DV
  • One teaspoon (1 gram) of dried oregano contains about:
    • Calories: 2
    • Protein: 0.2 grams
    • Fat: 0.1 grams
    • Carbohydrates: 0.4 grams
    • Fiber: 0.1 grams
    • Vitamin K: 22% of the DV
    • Vitamin A: 2% of the DV
    • Iron: 3% of the DV
    • Manganese: 4% of the DV

Keep in mind that these values may vary depending on the specific brand or product you are using. It is always a good idea to read the label and check the nutritional content of any food or supplement you are consuming

10 evidence-based health benefits of oregano

Oregano is a popular herb that is commonly used in cooking, but it also has a number of potential health benefits. Here are some ways in which oregano may be beneficial for your health:

  1. Oregano is a rich source of antioxidants: Antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Oregano is particularly high in a type of antioxidant called rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

  2. Oregano may have antibacterial properties: Some research suggests that oregano oil may be effective against certain types of bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.

  3. Oregano may help with digestion: The active ingredients in oregano, such as thymol and carvacrol, are thought to have stomach-settling properties that can help to ease indigestion and other digestive complaints.

  4. Oregano may have anti-inflammatory effects: The antioxidants in oregano may help to reduce inflammation in the body. Some research suggests that oregano may be effective at reducing inflammation in the respiratory system and in the mouth and gums.

  5. Oregano may help to boost the immune system: Some studies have found that oregano may help to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are vital for fighting infections.

  6. Oregano may have anti-cancer properties: Some test-tube studies have suggested that oregano may have anti-cancer effects. For example, one study found that oregano oil was able to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. However, note that more research is needed to determine whether oregano has any anti-cancer effects on humans.

  7. Oregano may help to lower blood sugar levels: Some animal studies have found that oregano may help to lower blood sugar levels. However, more research is needed to confirm whether this effect holds true in humans.

  8. Oregano may have antiviral properties: Some research suggests that oregano may have antiviral effects and may be effective at fighting certain viruses. However, there’s need for more research to confirm this.

  9. Oregano may have anti-fungal properties: Oregano oil has been shown to have anti-fungal effects against certain types of fungi, such as Candida albicans.

  10. Oregano may help to reduce the severity of allergies: Some research suggests that oregano may help to reduce the severity of allergies by inhibiting the production of histamines.

Keep in mind that most of the research on the health benefits of oregano has been done in test tubes or on animals. More research is needed to determine whether these potential benefits hold true for humans.

How to use Oregano

There are many ways to use oregano in cooking and as a natural remedy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cooking: Oregano is a common herb used in many types of cuisine, particularly Italian, Greek, and Mexican. It can be added to a variety of dishes, including pizza, pasta, meat, and vegetables. Oregano can be used fresh or dried, and it is often paired with other herbs such as basil, thyme, and parsley.
  • Tea: Oregano can be used to make a tea by steeping dried oregano leaves in hot water. This tea may be helpful for relieving congestion and easing digestive issues.
  • Essential oil: Oregano essential oil can be used in aromatherapy or diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically. Oregano oil is highly concentrated and should be used with caution, as it can cause skin irritation in some people.
  • Supplement: Oregano is available in supplement form, such as capsules or tablets. These supplements may be used to help with digestion or as a natural remedy for respiratory issues.

Oregano should be used with caution if you are pregnant, as it may have uterine stimulant effects. Additionally, oregano oil should not be taken internally without the guidance of a healthcare professional, as it can be toxic in large amounts.

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